Florence Nightingale remembered in annual celebration

HRH Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, attended a Service to Commemorate the Life of Florence Nightingale at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 17th May 2017.

The service is held annually to celebrate nursing and midwifery and all staff, both qualified and unqualified, working in these services.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:

We come into the presence of almighty God to offer our worship, praise, and thanksgiving. In particular, we thank God for Florence Nightingale: for her enterprise and heroism, and for the example she has left us.

We pray that her ideals of compassion, quality of care, and training may continue to inspire and sustain nurses everywhere. We praise God for all those nurses who, like her, have carried the lamp of healing into the dark places of our world.

Let us prepare to hear and receive God’s holy word and to bring before God the needs of our world. Let us remember with pride the vocation we have each received, and prepare to dedicate ourselves anew to the service of all in need.

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, read Isaiah 65: 17-20, 66: 10-13; and Michael Macfadyen DL, Trustee, the Sandra Charitable Trust, read 1 Corinthians 12: 12-18.

The Address was given by the Dean.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Sacrist, and said by: Ursula Ward, Chief Executive, The Florence Nightingale Foundation; Dorcas Gwata, Florence Nightingale Scholar; Dr Richard Adams, Chief Nursing Officer, Bupa; and the Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence.

The service included the Procession of the Roll of Honour, borne in silence, which was carried by Army Nurse Corporal Alex Young, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, escorted by the three Matrons-in-Chief of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The Florence Nightingale Lamp was carried through the Abbey by Sandra Mononga, Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholar, and escorted by student nurses and midwives from Edinburgh Napier University.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist. The organ was played by Benjamin Cunningham, Organ Scholar.

© 2017 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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